When it comes to Italian food, I definitely prefer The Olive Garden over Carrabba's Italian Grill. Although Carrabba's has the Italian bread with herbs and oil, along with their manicotti that I enjoy so much, I would rather have The Olive Garden's unlimited bread sticks and salad as well as pleasant atmosphere. The two restaurants have some similarities; however, their differences are more obvious.
Carrabba's is second to The Olive Garden for these reasons. First, Carrabba's atmosphere is not as nice, because you can see the kitchen, as well as hear it, as it is set about 10 feet in front of the tables. I don't like all of the noise and certainly don't want to look at a kitchen. The restaurant is a lot darker and seemingly dingier than The Olive Garden. Secondly, their portions are a lot smaller and even more expensive which doesn't make good sense. However, I do thoroughly enjoy their warm, fresh Italian bread (that comes along with oil and herbs) that they give you when you are first seated.
The staff also seems to be less friendly and doesn't greet you when you first walk in the door. Carrabba's is good, but definitely not as good as The Olive Garden.
The Olive Garden is my favorite Italian restaurant for many reasons. As soon as you walk in, you are almost overwhelmed by the hostess's hospitality. You are then warmed by the cozy atmosphere and pretty dangling lights that are streaming from wall to wall. After being seated, you are spoiled with as many servings of bread sticks and salad as you can eat. Their portions are much larger than Carrabba's and even cheaper. My favorite dish is their fettuccini alfredo. Every time that I go to The Olive Garden I get the same thing...